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Advice for a returning Head-fier

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

So I left head-fi a while back due to financial reasons but now things have come around for me and I'm seriously thinking about repurchasing a bit of equipment.  I had to sell all my gear previously which was a half decent portable rig for it's time - 5.5gen iMod, iQube V1, ALO vcap dock, Alessandro MS2is and various interconnectors.  I currently use a pair of HD25 I-IIs straight from my MacBooks line out and it's made me think that i really don't have the need for a portable rig anymore but a desktop rig maybe my thing.  I looking to repurchase the MS2i just because i do miss the airiness of them but then again it's my only experience of open back headphones (besides the PX100).

 

Has anyone got any suggestions for an AMP/DAC that'll be able to run some half decent cans?  The AKG 701s are still on my list to try and also the HD600 just because i've heard so many great things - i know a lot has changed since i've last been on here but have seen i can pick these cans up for a lot cheaper now.  I'd like something that i can connect via USB and that'll bypass all the MacBooks dac/amp circuitry.

 

Currently looking at the "Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1" and "Audioengine D1 Premium 24-Bit DAC" even the "audio quest dragonfly" has been getting my curiosity going - there was a Nuforce HD thing i saw too but a little bit pricey i think.  Something neutral but not sterile.  My price range is around the £300 ($500) mark but ideally if theres something cheaper that has 80% of the audio quality that'll be ideal.

 

Anyways all suggestions welcome, thank you for your time.


Jayson
 

post #2 of 7

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, 160 GBP ($255)+shipping.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

Comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs

Dual DAC chips (WM8741) and should drive any headphone between 16-Ohm to 600-Ohm.

I've been using the 15.32 for over 3 weeks, no regrets.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for getting back to me Purple Angel,

 

The 15.32 looks like a half decent piece of kit for the price! What is the sound like, anything you can compare it to?  Any negatives? You buy it right from the site?

 

Cheers

 

J

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lace'd Taste View Post
 

Thanks for getting back to me Purple Angel,

The 15.32 looks like a half decent piece of kit for the price! What is the sound like, anything you can compare it to?  Any negatives? You buy it right from the site?

I was using my Essence STX (good sounding) and planned on replacing it with the 15.32.

As the 15.32 has a lower headphone output impedance (2-Ohm vs 10-Ohm) and a more powerful headphone amplifier.

Dual WM8741 DAC chips vs the STX's one PCM1792A.

The 15.32 being external means no more electrical noise (background noise) in the audio signal.

So there were a range of some decent to minor improvements, over the STX.

Also I can use the 15.32 with more then just my PC (might try it with my cable box) or transport it to use at other locations.

So far no real negatives (maybe I should have spend the extra $85 for the 11.32 model?).

 

Last week I was watch the original Thor movie (2011) Blu-ray disk on my PC and the sound was really nice.

 

You do buy it straight from Audio-GD (Hong Kong), I used Paypal.

It arrived to me 6 days after being ordered (California).

They declared a $100 value for shipping (DHL), but so far have never had to pay any import or Value Added Tax on stiff shipped to me anyway (California), from overseas.

It's USB connection is recommended for music (or 2-channel) audio and I use the S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) connection so I can get Headphone Surround Sound, I still use the STX's S/PDIF, so as to be able to use the STX's headphone surround sound, later on planing on selling off the STX and using a cheaper Xonar DX sound card.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Great stuff!  I think you've pretty much convinced me along with reading up about the 15.32 on other threads.  Last question - the TCXO optional upgrade, you know what this is?  Quoting someone in another thread: "I went for the $20 TCXO upgrade for low jitter and most likely better performance"

post #6 of 7

I can't comment on the TCXO upgrade but I have an NFB 12.1 (the previous generation of the 15.32) and it's a really solid performer.  It will drive both the AKG's and the HD600's very well.  An excellent choice in my eyes.  The beauty of it is that you can add an amp later and use it as straight DAC.

 

I've also found the service from Audio-GD to be top notch.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Cheers Paulie - right i think I'm done - I've e-mailed Audio GB to total it all up for us, i've gone with the TCXO option - it's only an extra £12.50 and matey seems to be happy with it (still unsure what it is) :/

 

Thanks for the help - excited to be using something other than my standard line out! 

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